Ahoy there, boat enthusiasts! Are you considering making the big move across the country and want to bring your trusty vessel along for the ride? Or perhaps you found that dream boat on the opposite coast and need to transport it home? Whatever your reason may be, shipping a boat across this great land of ours can be quite an adventure. But before you set sail on this journey, it’s important to know what costs might await you in uncharted waters. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from average shipping rates and factors affecting prices to helpful tips for preparing your beloved watercraft for its voyage across America. So strap on your life jacket, raise the anchor, and let’s dive right into all things boat shipping!
Anchors Aweigh: The Basics of Boat Shipping Rates
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to how much it will cost to ship a boat across the country because several factors come into play. However, we can give you some general ballpark figures based on industry averages.
According to various sources within the industry:
- Small boats (under 10 feet): around $1 – $3 per mile
- Medium-sized boats (10 – 20 feet): roughly $2 – $4 per mile
- Large boats (over 20 feet): approximately $3 – $7 per mile
Keep in mind that these are just average estimates and actual costs can vary depending on multiple factors such as distance traveled, time of year, type of carrier service used and more which we’ll discuss further below.
How Distance Affects Cost
One major factor influencing how much it costs to ship your boat is obviously going to be distance covered during transportation. As with many other types of freight services like car shipping or furniture moving companies, carriers generally charge by mileage when transporting boats across the country. Therefore, the longer the distance, the higher the price tag.
However, it’s important to note that while per-mile rates may decrease for longer distances due to economies of scale, your overall shipping cost will still increase as more miles are added. So if you’re moving your boat from Miami to Seattle or Boston to Los Angeles, prepare for a hefty bill.
The Size and Weight Factor
The next big factor affecting your boat shipping cost is its dimensions and weight. Larger boats require more manpower and specialized equipment like cranes or hydraulic trailers to load/unload them onto carriers safely. This means additional costs for such services which can be passed down to you in form of higher rates.
Additionally, oversized boats that exceed certain width/height/weight limits set by federal and state authorities may require special permits allowing transportation on highways. These permits can come with extra fees attached as well.
Type of Carrier Service
When it comes time to choose how you want your boat transported across America’s highways, there are two main options available: open carrier transport or enclosed carrier transport.
Open carriers are often flatbed trucks with multiple levels stacked high with boats secured tightly in place using heavy-duty straps or other restraints – think giant-sized tow truck meets watercraft showroom on wheels! This type of service is typically cheaper than its enclosed counterpart because open trailers allow for greater carrying capacity (more boats = lower cost per boat) but also exposes your vessel to potential road hazards such as flying debris, rainwater ingress or UV damage from sun exposure during transit.
On the flip side, enclosed carriers resemble a giant rolling garage where your prized watercraft would be snugly protected from elements behind closed doors while en route its destination safe from harm’s way. As expected though this premium level protection comes at a price which can be considerably higher than open-transport options depending on factors mentioned earlier like size of your boat and distance traveled among others.
Time of Year and Regional Demand
Like many other industries, boat shipping follows a seasonal pattern with certain times of year experiencing higher demand (and thus higher prices) than others. For instance, during springtime when temperatures start warming up and people begin prepping their boats for upcoming summer fun or in fall months when they’re looking to store them away before winter sets in, demand for transportation services usually rises. Consequently, you might find yourself paying more during these periods compared to say mid-winter or early summer when fewer boats are on the move.
Also worth noting is regional demand which can vary depending on factors like popular boating destinations or local events such as boat shows where large numbers of vessels might be transported en masse within specific regions driving up prices temporarily.
Preparing Your Boat for its Cross-Country Voyage
Now that you have an idea of what it will cost to ship your boat across the country let’s discuss some essential steps you should take to ensure its safe arrival at your destination:
- Documentation: Make sure all necessary paperwork such as proof of ownership/registration/license plates/tags etc., are readily available and up-to-date before scheduling transport arrangements.
- Inspection: Conduct a thorough inspection of your boat making note any existing damage or areas concern (e.g., scratches dents cracked windows). It’s also recommended that you take clear photographs document condition prior shipment serve reference case future disputes arise regarding damages incurred transit.
- Cleaning: Give your vessel good scrub down inside out removing dirt grime algae buildup that could potentially cause harm carrier’s equipment other boats being transported alongside yours.
- Securing loose items: Remove any valuable personal belongings from inside your boat secure loose exterior components like anchors life rings fishing poles etc., prevent them flying off damaging while road.
- Draining fluids: To avoid potential leaks spills during transport drain engine coolant fuel tanks bilge pumps other fluid-containing systems onboard vessel as necessary.
- Disconnecting batteries: Disconnect all battery connections help prevent accidental electrical discharges fires caused by jostling movements vibrations encountered transit.
- Checking for leaks: Inspect your boat’s hull, seals, and other potential leak points to ensure it’s watertight before loading onto the carrier.
And with that, you’re ready to set sail on your cross-country boat shipping adventure! By understanding the various factors influencing costs and taking the necessary steps to prepare your vessel for transport, you’ll be in shipshape condition when it comes time to embark on this exciting journey.